An introduction to PSA
The professional services industry is very different from the other industrial sectors like manufacturing, production, and others. Usually, since the dawn of Microsoft Office, professional services firms used the Excel spreadsheet to manage client projects, resources, and utilization needs. However, in the present day, spreadsheets are not compatible with the requirements of the professional services organizations.
Statistics show about 80% of spreadsheets contain errors, this affects the profitability and efficiency of any professional services firm. However, technology has found answers to the problem and there are numerous Professional Services Software that are able to process all the different aspects for the organization. These software, commonly known as Professional Services Automation (PSA) are like ERP software for professional services firms. But unlike common ERP, professional services require more customized solutions because of the unpredictability of their work flow.
Features to look for
At first, we will talk about some of the basic features that are indispensable to a professional services solution. Without these basic features, there is no point for enterprises to invest in expensive software.
Managing accounts of all your different clients in a integrated platform is the basic necessity for a PSA. Professional service firms do not charge all clients for the same services or the same extent of services. Some clients are charged per project basis, others per service based and some others are even retainer based. A completed integrated accounting platform allows the top brass of the organization understand how their money flows.
One thing that is common with all services firms is the presence of projects. The struggle for the firms is to manage all the different projects at various stages and in diverse location. Hence, an effective project management suite where all the different projects could be managed and monitored is important for a good PSA. A good professional services solution should have the versatility for managing and assigning multiple projects at different locations by the decision makers.
Customer support is the most vital link in the services industry. Your customers would move away from you in an instant if you are not able to provide the customer support that they expect, even if your services are great. The PSA you are looking for should be integrated with a proper CRM system so you could know the pulse of your audience at all times. It should also enable you to provide quick and reliable customer support through mail and voice.
However big a services firm may be, it’s their staff who provide the services to the clients to generate money. This makes a good staff management suite mandatory in a PSA. If your Professional Services Solution helps to improve the performance and efficiency of your staff, it would provide you with a greater ROI. The PSA should be able to perform the role of an operations HR where it could track attendance, timing, leaves, vacations, etc.
The right solutions provider
As we have stated the important factors for you to look for in a Professional services solution, there is still one more major factor that defines the success of the solution you have bought; it is important to choose the right PSA software provider. Usually, the impact a PSA could have on your enterprise depends on the service provider you choose to work with.
Choosing the right service provider to work with is as important as choosing the right solution. Here are few ways you could find the right Professional Services Solution Provider.
1. Long Term Association and Dependability:
Every organization intends to grow; your choice of PSA should allow you to do that. More importantly, the software you buy should be compatible even after your organization has grown. This greatly depends on the solution provider as they should be able to make regular updates and add new features to the product to make it relevant for your business on a long term.
2. Partnership instead of Product sales:
As we have explained how purchasing a PSA is a long term feature, your association with the solution provider is indeed a partner for the long haul. So it is important that you know if your partner understands the requirements your service sector needs. Do they have intention to sell you a product or they intend to help your business grow? Are they financially stable? How have they served their previous customers? These are some of the vital questions you need ask before you choose a solution provider.
3. More than Just Features:
Features are important to the success of a PSA, but when it comes to choosing the right solution provider, you have to look beyond the project’s features and think about how good your solution provider is in implementing the software. You should also know about the other things that they offer. How good are they in product support? During the course of time, even robust software develop glitches and reliable product support is indispensible. They should also be able to educate the end users about the updates and provide appropriate training to bring their customers up to speed.
The XCEL Edge
XCEL Corp is has been a trusted and reliable PSA Software provider for numerous organizations in the service industry. Led by a visionary CEO, Jit Goel, XCEL Solutions Corp are among the fastest growing companies in America. Our growth has been consistent and 100% organic. For almost 2 decades, XCEL Corp has grown along with the customers we serve. We possess the skills and expertise to provide support, and develop custom made Professional Services Solutions that improve your firm’s efficiency.
The solutions we provide are also incredibly cost effective providing comparatively higher ROI. Call us today to learn more about how our solutions could transform your professional services organization.
Bhavani Suri ( Content Writer)
Our in-house content writer, who develops and creates content marketing strategies. She writes about the latest trends and advances related to IT in particular, and Technology in general.